1. To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand. The horse-chestnut is . . . Ready to explain its leaf. (Evelyn)
2. To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the bible. Commentators to explain the difficult passages to you. (Gay) to explain away, to get rid of by explanation. Those explain the meaning quite away.”
Synonym: to expound, interpret, elucidate, clear up.
Origin: L. Explandare to flatten, spread out, explain; ex out-plandare to make level or plain, planus plain: cf. OF. Esplaner, explaner. See plain, and cf. Esplanade.